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McCall bridge project to begin

  • Bob Ford/Times News The McCall bridge, which spans the Lehigh River, was built in 1966. Work will begin on the $11.8 million rehabilitation next week.
    Bob Ford/Times News The McCall bridge, which spans the Lehigh River, was built in 1966. Work will begin on the $11.8 million rehabilitation next week.
Published October 22. 2013 05:00PM

Rehabilitation of the Route 209 McCall bridge will begin next week, but most motorists will be unaware of the project until next year when detours will be put in place.

The 16-span multi-type steel bridge constructed in 1966, takes motorists across the Lehigh River, Lehigh Canal and Weissport.

Tim Rehrig, Weissport Council member, updated Weissport officials on Monday night on the timeline of the impending project.

He represented the borough at the Engineering District 5, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation meeting, which was held recently in Allentown.

Rehrig said that work will begin on the underside of the bridge on Monday in the area of the Lehigh Canal towpath when workers will begin substructure repairs, including replacing and rehabilitating the fixed bearings for piers one, two and three and to reconstruct pier four, place scout protection at piers 2 and 3, and make repairs to deteriorated concrete on piers and abutments.

PennDOT has contracted with the Lehigh Canal Recreation Commission to use the canal towpath as a staging area for equipment and supplies during the substructure repairs. During that time frame, access to the Lehigh Canal towpath from Weissport to Parryville will be limited.

The project includes deck repairs, new latex modified concrete overlay on the existing deck, new integral approach slabs at each end of the bridge, replacing all 17 deck joints, new protective fence along both barriers, replacing drainage scuppers and install new downspout systems.

The entire superstructure is scheduled to be cleaned and repainted, plus workers will stiffen gusset plates in the truss spans, add floorbeam cover plates and girder stiffeners to increase capacity.

The bridge will be finished off with a new latex modified concrete overlay on the existing deck.

Workers are scheduled to work from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday with some occasional Friday shifts. During bridge jacking and placement of the latex modified concrete, workers will add night work hours from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Work hours may be changed with written permission of Weissport Council.

During the construction a temporary traffic signal will be installed at Bankway Street and the Weissport Bridge.

Temporary traffic patterns through Weissport will last about three or four months.

During the detour which will begin on June 6, 2014, east and southbound traffic will be diverted onto Canal Street onto Bridge Street in Weissport one way for the entire two lanes to Bankway Street and Route 209 northbound traffic will be maintained on the bridge during the deck repair construction.

According to Rehrig, there may be periods when traffic flow on the bridge will be halted during jacking operations.

Because the project includes a crossing gate for eastbound traffic on Bridge Street in Weissport, the crossing gate will be relocated for protection of west bound traffic during the one way detour Norfolk Southern.

The detour is scheduled to reopen on Sept. 5, 2014.

Should the project be delayed, contractors will be assessed $3,500 for each day the detour is not open.

J.D. Eckman Inc. of Atglen is the contractor for the $11.8 million project.

Completion date for the project is May 19, 2015.

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